Jordy van den Nieuwendijk is like an old pal who comes to visit us from time to time. Over the course of his career we have written about his joy-filled paintings countless times, always charmed by his distinct wit and smile-inducing colour palette. So, of course when Jordy let us know of a new show Time Out — Knock Out at Ninasagt in Düsseldorf, we were bowled over by his work yet again.
On the surface Jordy’s recent exhibition features many of the same characteristics that his fans (including us) often fall for, but also sees him switch his tools from brushes and canvas to oil pastels. Inspired by a trip to a local materials shop, “I live round the corner of an art supplies store in The Hague, I often go in just to see what they have,” Jordy’s decision to work on wood was similarly coincidental. “I intended to do a show with works on paper and get my hands on a great amount of different papers for testing. As I was trying out what paper suited the material best, I pulled a few lines on an old bit of light poplar wood on my desk. I loved what it did.”
From there the artist worked instinctively and fast. Ordering numerous panels of wood and sanding them down to make a smoother surface to draw on, he “barely gave myself the time to eat and sleep after that,” says Jordy. “I love how the wood is basically a very, very heavy weight sheet of paper. It also allows me to add pressure to the surface, being able to push my oil pastels right into it.” But the “tricky” and well-known tendency of oil pastels to crumble and smear, always ending up all up your arm as well as your hands, also made its way around Jordy’s house. “The table, floor, the kitchen sink, my clothes, all covered in a lot of colours.”
Colour is the big impactful part of Time Out — Knock Out with even Jordy saying “this is one of the most (intense) coloured shows so far”. The eye-widening quality of the colour in his works comes from the artist’s new tools, “as these oil pastels are so incredibly vivid (the blues, the reds, my goodness), the mess at home was also the most colourful mess I’ve made so far,” and are perfect for leaping off the white walls of exhibition spaces.
In terms of subjects the colours depict, similar Jordy-like objects return within the exhibition such as peppers and various shapes but now also caravans and ciggies too. “Besides some experimenting with layers and frames in the compositions, viewers might recognise some earlier subjects as I have combined some of my favourite bits from commercial illustrations of the last few years with topics I enjoyed painting recently,” he explains. “As it took me about three hours for one work to finish line by line, at utmost concentration (well, Four Weddings and a Funeral was playing in the background to be fair), I’d like to believe that, well at least for me, this show celebrates drawing in a way,” says the artist. As a result, the exhibition is cheerful and optimistic when looking from piece to piece, each representing: “The joy of it. The freedom of it. The naivety and playfulness alongside storytelling.”Time Out — Knock Out runs until 13 January, 2018 at Ninasagt, Düsseldorf.
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